Portage is a borough with home rule status in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Ebensburg and 22 miles (35 km) southwest of Altoona. It is part of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,638 at the 2010 US census.
Portage's name comes from the practice of portage or portaging which is the process of carrying a water craft or cargo over land between two bodies of water. The "portaging" that occurred in this area was due to the Allegheny Portage Railroad which ran from Hollidaysburg westward to Johnstown over the Allegheny Front, the height of land separating the Eastern Seaboard of the United States from the Ohio River Valley. The line opened in 1834 and Portage was situated on the #2 plane of the Allegheny Portage Railroad system. Pennsylvania Route 53 follows the route of the railroad through Portage. The unloading spot for the railroad in Portage was the Washington House, which was located where Portage Auto Wreckers is currently.
By 1854, the Allegheny Portage Railroad was considered obsolete due to the Pennsylvania Railroad which traveled over the Alleghenys considerably faster and safer. At the same time, another company, the New Portage Railroad, was attempting to do the same, but in 1857, the Pennsylvania Railroad bought the New Portage railroad and abandoned it.